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Air Ride, also called Air Riding, is a move that appears in allthreegames in the Sonic Riders series. It is a racing maneuver used by racers riding on Extreme Gear, where users are able to take flight into mid-air on their Gear and pass through Dash Rings/Accelerators.
When performing Air Ride, the user utilizes their Extreme Gear to temporarily maintain their altitude when propelled into the air, allowing the user to glide through mid-air for a short time. However, Air Ride can only be performed by those that have the necessary skills, specialized Extreme Gear or the right Gear Part.
In gameplay, Air Ride lets the playable character take off into the air, where the player can glide down the course and steer themselves in different directions. However, the circumstances that decide which playable characters are able to Air Ride depends on the game. While Air Riding, the player gains Air/Gravity Points. Additionally, Air Ride allows the player to utilize Dash Rings/Accelerators, which usually lead into a shortcut on the course and allows the player to travel faster than regular racing speed.
To initiate Air Ride in gameplay, the player has to be launched into the air by a Catapult or be launched from Kickers into a Dash Ring/Accelerator on the racing courses from where the player then will use Air Ride. Over time, the player will lose momentum and fall to the ground automatically, but at any time, the player can cancel the Air Ride and immediately drop down.
The move first appeared in Sonic Riders where it is called Air Riding. In this game, only Flight Type characters or other characters riding on certain Extreme Gears are able to perform Air Riding. When using Air Riding, the player has free directional movements although vertical movement inputs are inverted (so if the player moves the control stick/d-pad up, the player will move down and vice versa). To drop down immediately from Air Riding, the player has to press the jump button (//).
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
The move re-appears in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity where it is called Air Ride. In this game, this ability is restricted to SCR-HD and racers that ride on Air Ride or Yacht type Extreme Gears or Board type Extreme Gears with the Air Ride or YachtGear Part activated. Other than that, the Air Ride technique works exactly as it did in Sonic Riders.
Sonic Free Riders
The move returned again in Sonic Free Riders where it retains the name Air Ride. In this game, Air Ride can only be used by those with the active Air Ride SkillGear Part equipped to their Extreme Gear.
In this game, the player can Air Ride by both going off Catapults and Kickers. Due to the Kinect controls of the game, when performing Air Ride, the player must extend their arms out wide to gain height; if the player does not do this, they will immediately fall to the ground. If the player wants to drop down, the player must drop their arms down. Additionally, there is no horizontal steering while using Air Ride in Sonic Free Riders, so the player can only steer vertically.